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ThinkPad W540 (20BG0011US) Mobile Workstation Intel Core i7 4700MQ (2.40GHz) 8GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA Quadro K1100M 15.6
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: -Sufficiently sturdy construction
-2 USB 3.0 ports, one on each side of the laptop
-Great battery life
-Powerful CPU
-Reasonably good Quadro K1100M
-High quality keyboard is easy to type with.
-Keyboard layout is mostly normal, with a few oddities such as a Print Screen button and the FN key outside of CTRL.

Cons: -Product keys for Windows 8 are no longer printed on the laptop. This is a MASSIVE step backwards and it does not automatically activate Windows, it ONLY works with the Lenovo recovery disks.
-Absolute NIGHTMARE to reinstall. Took 4.5 hours on a Samsung EVO SSD using Lenovo system recovery disks. Installing Windows 8.1 from Microsoft's disk took 12 minutes.
-Neither one installed all the drivers necessary for operation.
-Sound card regularly makes loud popping sounds on startup, resuming from standby, and after a period of time when no sound is being produced. Poor quality audio codec installed, does not even have noise cancellation for the built in microphone!
-No MIC IN. Literally WHY?
-1080p Display is not great. Feels like a cheap TN panel, sharp but low color quality (even lower than my previous laptops' glossy TN panel). Gives me a headache when using the laptop for more than an hour.
-Poor touchpad design, entire touchpad is depressed when clicking, and there is lots of failures to detect the intended press (left or right). On top of that, there is no option to automatically disable the touchpad when a mouse is plugged in, so you have to disable it in Device Manager every time you plug in a mouse.
-Touchpad is not centered on the laptop, so your left hand is the only option when using it.

Seagate Hybrid Drive  ST2000DX001 2TB MLC/8GB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s NCQ 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Tested my drive with WD Data lifeguard tools (Since I found out Seatools don't work in 64 bit windows...), no sector errors at all.

Performance is great even for a single HD, but the SSD cache makes this drive really pop. Having the SSD built in at the hardware level is very convenient, there's no fussing about setting up a separate SSD as a cache.

I can pull nearly the same sequential write/read speeds as 2 WD Caviar Blue's in Raid 0 (which is what I'm upgrading from). However, the Seagate boots MUCH MUCH faster thanks to vastly improved random read speed, plus of course the SSD cache. I went from a ~30 second boot in windows 8 to a ~15 second boot, including bios screens.

The SSHD's firmware seems much more solid than the older 2.5 models' firmware (I use one in my laptop). It has more reliably held the Windows boot files than the 2.5" models did, which is what I really want the SSD cache for.

This SSHD is a great option if you don't want to bother setting up a SSD cache, or would prefer to have them in the physical space of 1 drive.

Cons: Copying over 800GB in a single move resulted in a random reboot of the system. I'm not sure if this is a result of my Raid 0 array (which was showing indications of file system instability) or if it was the Seagate's SSD cache/firmware.

Other Thoughts: Was copying over large video files onto the fresh partition at around 165MB/s sustainably for over 1 hour!

Don't expect performance exactly like a SSD (I think this is why there are so many complaints about performance), the SSD is just a cache for often used files, you're going to be getting the HD's performance for most of your not-super-common tasks such as loading game levels or whatnot. The HD's performance is pretty good though, so it's nothing to worry about.

Bottom line: If you can afford the SSD and it has all the space you need, it's still a better choice. But if you can only afford a HD, there's absolutely no reason not to get this one.

Razer Sphex Gaming Grade Desktop Skin
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggs Too many problems 11/28/2013

This review is from: Razer Sphex Gaming Grade Desktop Skin

Pros: This mat is very good at its primary purpose - being a texture that is easy to read for high DPI gaming mice.

Cons: HOWEVER there are many issues with this mousepad that I am very disappointed with
-The glue starts to wear off along the edges after just a month of light use, or no use at all. This was placed on a polished wood desk so there was plenty of physical contact. Washing the backside of the Sphex does not refresh the stickiness of the glue, only removes any particulate that may have accumulated on the underside.
-The sheet of plastic that is this entire product is entirely too thin and inflexible, and once bent will leave a big crease mark forever. This combined with the first point left me with a bent Sphex after only 2 months of use.

When I finally gave up and decided to swap it out with a proper mousepad, it left globs of glue all over the desk surface which had to be scrubbed off. In addition to that, the glue ripped the stain out of the desk so I now have a permanent grid where the Sphex used to be.

These issues ruin this product, if they can be fixed in future versions of the Sphex I might consider getting another.


Devin O.'s Profile

Display Name: Devin O.

Date Joined: 05/23/09

  • Reviews: 48
  • Helpfulness: 26
  • First Review: 05/28/09
  • Last Review: 08/31/14
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